Monday, January 31, 2011

Heartworn Highways

I watched an incredible documentary last night, Heartworn Highways. You probably don't know this (or expect it) but I love nothing better than watching a Western on a Sunday afternoon. Although unfortunately, TV schedules usually regulate them to the graveyard shift on listings. Gone are the glory days of the Western, eh. So, I record them and then watch them on a lazy Sunday.

Heartworn Highways is a documentary film by James Szalapski whose vision captured some of the founders of the Outlaw Country movement in Texas and Tennessee in the last weeks of 1975 and the first weeks of 1976. The film was not released theatrically until 1981. The film focuses on some of the major figures of the outlaw country movement of the mid-1970s. Texan troubadours Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and a young Steve Earle all feature, performing some of their bestloved songs and discussing the stories behind the music. (Source; wikipedia and the GFT.)

This is one of many moments throughout the film that had me tapping my feet:

Anyway, this got me thinking back to a great movie I'd watched last year, Coal Miner's Daughter, with one of my favourite actresses, Sissy Spacek alongside Tommy Lee Jones. Beside not knowing much about country music at all, aside from possessing an admiration for it, I really enjoyed this bio-pic about the life of Loretta Lynn, a country and western singer that grew up in poverty in Kentucky as a coal miner's daughter to fame on the country music circuit. Spacek deservedly won the Academy Award for her role.

You can watch Coal Miner's Daughter on youtube!

I've bought two great denim shirts in the past few months so maybe I'm going a little bit country, and so what?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Red Shoes (1948)

While talk of Black Swan is still fresh, I'm going to take this opportunity to acquaint you with, or even re-introduce you to The Red Shoes, Powell and Pressburger's glorious technicolor fairytale of 1948.

The reclusive but celebrated Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook) composes a ballet based upon Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale The Red Shoes. The brilliant Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) takes the lead role, her ambitions of becoming a prima ballerina soon conflict with her love for the ballet's music composer. She has to choose between Lermontov and the ballet or her life with Julian (Marius Goring) and the difficult choice soon consumes her. Her own life begins to eerily parallel that of the heroine in her most memorable role.

Interestingly, Moira Shearer was a ballerina, not an actress when she took this role, she rebuffed the role for over a year before eventually submitting and accepting it. Filming was not a happy experience, she was often hitched up on a wire while being buffeted by a wind machine for several hours. She was also Scottish! Her flaming locks and red shoes will always be an icon of British cinema.

I had a brief flirtation with ballet as a child, but a combination of a lack of enthusiasm and my own boisterousness soon quenched any possible (unlikely) life path in that most enchanting of dances. Perhaps if I had seen this as a child I would have been inspired.

PS. I have many more screencaps of The Red Shoes on my Flickr, you can also find the film on youtube, if you can't come by the DVD (the DVD quality is excellent, as it has been digitally restored). This translates even better to an intimate cinema setting, which I had the opportunity to experience once, last summer.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The dark of the matinee

As uncomfortable as I am as regards my own outfit posts, I enjoy (on other blogs) seeing the person behind the text and what bloggers wear etc. So I think this blog requires a bit of that really.

Saturday night I went to see Black Swan and went for drinks in Stereo after.

Denim shirt, H&M via Salvation Army. Brogues, Office. Shetland wool socks, eBay. Brown cords, Uniqlo.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menswear Florence/Milan/Paris

I was alerted to these frankly amazing shots by House of Leaves. My own eyes were first opened to the eccentric and bold ways Italian men wear their suits through The Sartorialist. Pictures speak louder than words so I'll share some my favourites from Tommy Ton's photos.

There's a lot of style cues there to take inspiration from. I'm very happy about the amount of tweed and plaid.

I've always been envious of menswear, mainly because of the wide selection of blazers available to them and well cut shirts. I love the clash of patterns and colours, it looks fun and it feels like they live in these clothes, which sometimes ain't the case for more fickle, trend driven womenswear.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Before the Christmas break I went to see Somewhere. In the tradition of Sofia Coppola's films it was beautiful to look at,; gauzy, like you're peeping through a veil curtain. Elle Fanning was the real star of this movie. I loved her fresh and youthful all-american girl look. Stacey Battat was the wardrobe designer, but looking at pictures of Elle elsewhere, I can't help but wonder about her own personal input, she just seems so at ease in what she wears.

Cleo (Elle Fanning's character) has a better eye than I did at that age. Her wardrobe seems timeless, composed of printed sundresses, pastels, soft geometric patterns, loose fitting breton tops and her sunshine yellow Fjällräven backpack. It's also very accessible, I imagine most of these pieces have been picked up from high street stores.

My favourite outfit was this grey, cream and dusky blue geometric patterned jumper, a nice oversized fit, it goes so well with her coloring. It's an easy going look, Just worn with jeans and plimsolls.

I love her selection of printed dresses, perfect for the Los Angeles sunshine, sweet but elegant. Makes me long for summer days and ice cream.

The fresh bloom of youth is perfectly complimented in this dress, the sleek ponytail is all the dressage this dainty dress requires.

If only I had that much grace and taste when I was 11 or 12. Not me, instead, I had tank tops that said ‘Angel’ on them in glitter and a favourite dusky pink puffy bodywarmer from Topshop. This is the early noughties we're talking about here.

Elle dresses for herself, she's not trying to grow up too fast, she seems content to be the age she is. She is the perfect pre-teen role model, quietly mature, making no demands of her father, only content to stand by his side and let him realise his own mistakes.

I won't lie, It feels more than a bit strange to be looking toward a girl ten years my junior (she was born in 1998! How is this possible?) for some style inspiration, but it is refreshing.

Images via Totally Elle.

Elle Fanning, 67th Venice Film Festival: "Somewhere" Photocall, Sep 3, 2010
(via eyeprime)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year!

The special collections section of my library houses some wonderful treasures, I found some sweet Victorian seasonal cards on their flickr, that I thought I would share with you. Some are quite unusual and use images that we wouldn't traditionally associate with Christmas. I suppose they used them for the sake of eclecticsism!

I LOVE foxes, I'm not sure how a fox preying on some rabbits is supposed to represent good tidings for the year ahead, but oh well...

Again, a curious choice, but quite sweet really.

You can see the others, odd and otherwise, here.

Have you stuck to your resolutions so far? I haven't quite, I didn't make any definite ones for fear of breaking them! I did buy a diary again this year, a wee pocket moleskine, its helped me quite a bit in the couple of days it has been in my possession!

PS. I was nominated as one of the Irish Fashion Bloggers of the year, a vote would boost the auld ego, I'm number 50. Vote and spread good karma! You can vote once a day and for more than one blogger.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My 2011 Personal Style Resolutions

My 2011 Personal Style Resolutions, guest blog post at The Licentate!

My first guest post! I was touched when Sarah asked me and had such fun writing this up!

Let me know what you think!